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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Photography Tips and a Free Printable!

I have been so honored by the response to my photography on both my shop and my blog! Thank you so much. I have been asked a number of times of what my secret was and thought that it could be a cool blog post! I have always loved photography from very young. My first camera when I was a child was a 110mm Rainbow Brite. Now if you are reading this and do not know what a 110mm camera is, that is forgivable. Now if you are saying, "who is Rainbow Brite?" ahem! Anyhoo... My father kept me up-to-date with my camera equipment throughout the years from space-age looking gadgets to your basic manual SLR. (He shares the same passion for photography as I do!) I always wanted to keep learning. So I took classes in college, and to be honest, hated them! I loved the exploration and figuring out for myself what worked and what didn't and coming up with my own ideas. Taking classes got me to over think exposure times, proper lighting, types of photography...So I tried to deprogram myself a bit and go back to what I like. I worked with an automatic film SLR camera for the longest time which I loved. But then I started to drool over the new pro digital SLRs! I figured that getting one of those you can't possibly take a bad picture. LOL, well granted it is great to have a great camera, but you still need to know what you are doing. And now, these days, they are so many great cameras out there that are so affordable. I love my big DSLR but lately I have found it easier to travel with my husbands smaller point and shoot which takes just as great pictures. The only difference being the ability to have full control.

One of the biggest tips I have for everyone would be to use natural light whenever possible. Harsh flashes throw off the balance of your picture and washes everything out. You will often notice the background being really dark and the subject being washed out. Instead take pictures outside in the shade or even better on an overcast day. Also try taking pictures by the window. If you have to use a flash, try using a diffuser. You can also use a reflector to add lighting to your subject. The other day I was making strudel and had a pizza pan on the counter. My husband walked into the kitchen to talk with me and his blue eyes really popped! So I used the pizza pan yesterday when I took pictures of Clara! Check it out! So hey, you can always be creative with equipment.

I like keeping the background simple or to blur it to really keep focus on the subject.

I love black and white photography and learned in school that in photography we should look to have a true black and a true white in the composition. Automatic cameras tend to figure this balance out for you. You wont always have a true black or white in your picture and sometimes you will get an odd hue in your picture due to this. So a trick that I have used with my product photography has been to use this card. It has a true black, mid grey, and white stripe. This is great when I just want to take my pictures quickly without a bunch of set up or the lighting is changing often (when  you are outside) then when you bring the picture up on your photo editor you can auto-fix your exposure or play with the histogram. (I play with this often since I like high key photography when you almost blow out your picture with light.) In Photoshop you would go into adjustments and open the histogram. You can then take the black dropper, go into you picture and then click on the black stripe and your picture will adjust and darken to make sure that the stripe is full black. You can do the same with the white dropper and white stripe. Or you can just hit Auto:-) and let it do it for you.

Granted I am sure that there are all sorts of other things you can do to accomplish this. This is just a little trick that I use that seems to work for me when I want to be a little lazy:-) So I hope that it works for you and that I made sense!! I am including the card as a printable for you to use:-) Check for it in my Free Printables!!
Happy Shooting!!


  1. waoooo Great Ideas! thanks for share with us! Enjoy Blogging!

  2. I appreciate the great photography tips, thank you! I have a baking blog and am trying to improve my food photos. Great blog!


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